Saturday, June 08, 2019

UN Independent Expert on Foreign Debt and Human Rights Newsletter No. 2-2019

The UN Independent Expert on Foreign Debt and Human Rights, Juan Pablo Bohoslavsky has just distributed his Newsletter No. 2-2019. Some interesting materials and thoughts. Noteworthy is his  call for contributions for the Independent Expert's forthcoming thematic report to the Human Rights Council on private debt and human rights. The Call  is still open until 31 July 2019. Any submission from interested governments, civil society organizations, academic, experts, businesses, and other stakeholders would be most welcome. More details on the call for contributions are available at this link.

The Newsletter follows.

Mandate of the Independent Expert on foreign debt and human rights
Juan Pablo Bohoslavsky
Follow us on Twitter: @IEfinanceHRs

  1. Visit to Bolivia (6-15 May 2019) 
image003.jpgI conducted an official visit to Bolivia from 6 to 15 May 2019.  The key question that I examined during the visit was the economic sustainability of Bolivia’s social inclusion model from macroeconomic and human rights perspectives. While the government has been remarkably successful in turning Bolivia into one of the fastest-growing economies in the region and significantly reducing poverty, the country faces a number of challenges in ensuring that it meaningfully contributes to the full realization of human rights and sustainable development in the long-term. These include addressing informality of markets, broadening the tax base and increasing its progressivity, eliminating image005.jpggender inequality in the labour market, and ensuring that infrastructure development is based on and guided by international human rights law and standards.  
The press release and the end of the mission are available in English andSpanish, the video of the press conference (in Spanish) is available here. The full report on the visit will be presented to the Human Rights Council in February 2020.

  1. Call for contributions – Private debt report (Deadline: 31 July 2019) 
The call for contributions for my forthcoming thematic report to the Human Rights Council on private debt and human rights is still open until 31 July 2019. Any submission from interested governments, civil society organizations, academic, experts, businesses, and other stakeholders would be most welcome.  More details on the call for contributions are available at this link.
  1. User-friendly version of the report on the impact of austerity on women’s human rights
A user-friendly version of my official report, presented to the UN General Assembly in October 2018, is now available in English, Frenchand Spanish. It was produced by the Rutgers University Center for Women’s Global Leadership, and made possible thanks to the contribution of Open Society Foundations. 
  1. Participation in Academic and Policy Events 

Ø  Participation in 8th Meeting of the European Collaborative Platform on Social and Economic Rights in Athens
Organized by the Council of Europe, the European Network of National Human Rights Institutions (NHRI), the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights and EQUINET, the theme of the meeting was resilience under pressure: equality and human rights in times of economic and financial turbulences. I presented the Guiding Principles on human rights impact assessment of economic reforms (Guiding principles) and discussed how NHRI could operationalize them. 

Ø  Panel Discussion on External debt, Inequality and Democracy in Puerto Rico 
On 29 April, via video-conference, I took part in an academic event, organized by University Ana G. Mendez, in San Juan on “Deuda externa, desigualdad y democracia: una mirada desde los derechos humanos” and presented the Guiding Principles.  In 2016, I also sent a letter to the Government of United States together with other mandated holders on the situation in Puerto Rico.
Ø  Presentation of the GPHRIA in academic conferences in Brazil
On 24 April, I participated in two academic discussions, in Sao Paulo and Campinas on economic issues and human rights discussing the Guiding Principles with various organizations and experts at the invitation of FES Brazil and in collaboration with the DHESCA platform and its members. FES also kindly translated the Guiding Principles into Portuguese (unofficial translation).

Ø  Presentation of my book “El negocio del terrorismo de Estado” in Uruguay
I presented my book on financial complicity during the Uruguayan dictatorship, on 23 April 2019 in Montevideo during a panelorganized by FES Uruguay, Cátedra UNESCO of República University and the National Human Rights Institution, moderated by Felipe Michelini.

  1. Press releases recently issued 

Ø  “Welcoming EU agreement on sustainable investment disclosure”
On 25 April, I welcomed the new EU regulation to drive sustainable investment with two other mandate holders, an important step to leverage the financial market’s role in driving responsible business conduct. The importance of human rights due diligence processes in order to contribute to preventing tax evasion and tax avoidance was also underlined in the press release.

Ø  “Zimbabwe policies hitting poor hardest“
On 4 April 2019, with a group of mandate holders, we highlighted that Government policies in Zimbabwe are worsening the country’s economic crisis, causing immense hardship to those less well-off, and crushing the human rights of those who dare complain, in a press release

  1. Upcoming participation in events 

Ø  Book launch and discussion in Geneva (Wednesday 19 June 13:15 - 14:30)
This event marks the launch of my new co-edited book Complicidad económica con la dictadura chilena. Un país desigual a la fuerza (2019).  Panellists will include Paola Gaeta, professor of International Law, Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Robert Roth, former director, Geneva Academy and Honorary Professor, University of Geneva Law Faculty, and Sebastian Smart, co-editor of the book. The discussion will take place at Villa Moynier I 120b rue de Lausanne, Geneva.

Ø  Debt conference in Johannesburg (2-3 July 2019)
I will be attending the “Southern Africa’s debt conundrum” on 2-3 July 2019 in South Africa, an event organised by the Open Society Initiative for Southern Africa – OSISA. I will be presenting recent reports and discussing how to operationalize theGuiding Principles in Africa. 

No comments: